Carrying Nelson Home

Ease the bow spring, gently set the foresheets on the windward side,
Let go fore and aft then as she turns, sail her full and by to catch the evening tide.
Shake out those topsails, feel the seas roll under that she know so well,
Find a star to guide her to the dawn, and then let her greet the long Atlantic swell.

Sing me a chanty
Cantad del Cabo San Vicente*
Chantez des Marin de Nile
Sing a hymn of Trafalgar.

Stream the log now, for she's heeling with a land-breeze to inspire,
Orange-scented from the groves of Andalucia, and within my mind Cadiz still gleams with fire.
Give her sea-room, put Saint Vincent well astern by break of day,
Then you shorten sail and harden up the sheets, and close-hauled we'll make the Northings slip away.

One point to loo'ard, for the rolling seas are getting shorter now.
They remind me of the lights of (far Hiera)**, and they tell me Biscay's on the starboard bow.
Shake out your reef, for carried on the breeze that's setting fair
Are spices from the quays of Lorient you can sail her free to weather Finisterre.

Ease your mainsheets, for it's soon we'll see the harbour lights of home,
Anchor, make good every sheet and halyard, remembering just who you have on board.
Pipe me ashore, gently hoist aloft your keg of brandy wine
Make ready to receive the admiral's pouch, lower me easy, I'm going ashore one last time.

From the singing of Mike O'Connor
Attribution: Mike O'Connor